Bush Bashing, Parental Advice and November Politics

Bush: Well, it's a -- it's the toughest decision a President makes, I can tell you that, without fear of contradiction, I mean it is the toughest. And you feel a responsibility for every life. Every life keeping them safe, every life that's lost you feel that responsibility. But at that date, we were still trying diplomacy--

Gibson: Yep.

Bush: -- to keep the war from beginning, keep from having to go in there. But, they were motivated forces, and they were prepared to do their duty, and I as a commander in chief had to ask 'em to put their lives on the line when push came to shove, when it got to the end of the diplomatic route. But Charles, it was tough. It is very, very tough, toughest decision a President makes by far.

Gibson: And do you see that it has changed your son?

Bush: I don't know that it's changed him. He's a man of strength, of character. He's a strong person. … You look at his hair, might've changed him, he looks a lot grayer than when he came into the Presidency but, he's got his mother's DNA I think. … Of course, I think to some degree any experience like this would change a person, that had the fin -- the responsibility for it. But he's not a whiner. He doesn't go around wringing his hands saying "what do I do now?" … "What about this? what about that?" He knows what he has to do, and goes in and does it. And doesn't put his finger up in the wind, so oh-oh, ABC poll is down. I gotta turn around and do something else. You can't do that when you're president and he hasn't done it.

Friendship With Bill Clinton

Gibson: Congratulations by the way on the medal that you'll receive tonight, and on the fact that you're gonna inaugurate a ship of some significance this weekend.

Bush: Ah.

Gibson: Let me talk a little bit about the work that you and President Clinton have done. But, through the prism of America's standing in the world. We get enormous credit when we go into Indonesia, and we help with the tsunami victims. But that's a Muslim nation and we're not popular there, we get a good reaction when we go in and help the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan. But Americans are not welcome there and we are not popular there. What's happened to our standing in the world.

Bush: Well I'm not sure we were ever popular in some of those Muslim areas. But I'll tell you this, that after American help went into Indonesia, they took these public opinion polls, and the view of America by the average Indonesian went up high. So I think if you can do good things like Bill Clinton and I've tried to do it inures to the benefit of the country, and it makes it … better in terms of your question, what do you do about it. But I don't know what the answer is, I mean they're, right now the world, Muslim world is suspicious, divided you might say. A lotta moderate Muslims don't like the radical Muslims. And so, I think this has to play out, but I, I think basically, of these countries, a lot of 'em are very friendly to the United States.

Gibson:Has it made a real difference, when you travel in those areas, does--do you feel pretty good about what you were able to do there?

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